Global floating wind capacity is likely to grow 2,000-fold by 2050, says risk management and quality assurance company DNV GL.
In a new study, the firm predicts the installed capacity of floating wind will soar from its current level of 100MW to as much as 250GW by mid-century and notes the burgeoning technology is likely to play an important role in decarbonising energy systems around the world.
The report suggests floating wind turbines, which unlike traditional wind infrastructure can be built in any depth of water, could contribute around 2% of the world’s electricity supply by 2050 – it also notes that it provides a great opportunity to power mega-cities in the Asia-Pacific region with renewable energy.
It expects the cost of floating wind energy will fall by around 70% by this time, dropping to a global average of €40 (£36.5) per MWh, with this reduction to be driven by bigger turbines, larger projects, new developments in technology and a more-established supply chain.
DNV GL notes that in order for this growth to happen, more comprehensive industry standards and risk management will be needed to build stakeholder confidence and help leverage the necessary investment.
Magnus Ebbesen, Floating Wind Lead at DNV GL said: “There is a lot of room for innovation and optimization, but also for brand new solutions.
“That brings some risk, but risks that can be managed and minimized. With an evolving technology, flexibility and forward-thinking are imperative. Get it right, and floating wind presents a very attractive opportunity with healthy returns – for investors and the planet.”